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That’s the claim that made in an article in the Charlotte Observer… Biggest stresses:  long hours, too little time with family, delayed or interrupted vacations, nonstop counseling of people in crisis, and pressure to have the perfect family. There is no doubt that being a pastor is a tough job. No doubt at all. But is it really worst or most stressful job that a person could have? I’m not sure. But it does take it’s toll. Take Rev. Steve Shoemaker.  He’s the pastor at Charlotte’s Myers Park Baptist Church. He checked himself into rehab last week. Shoemaker had a tough year last year.  He fought depression and anxiety.  He got divorced.  And got hooked on alcohol. “I’m physically, psychologically and spiritually depleted,” he told the congregation. He is expected to return to work later this year. Shoemaker is being given opportunities most pastors in his condition would never be given.  A chance to keep his job after personal failure and divorce. I have mixed feelings about that. But I do wonder… how many pastors are truly burned out and hiding it. Are YOU Steve Shoemaker six months ago? Maybe your marriage hasn’t fallen apart (yet), or you’re not that depressed (yet), or you think you can control that urge to drink (now)… but truth be told:  your dry and empty. Here’s my challenge to you today:  get help before things all fall apart. Fix the little cracks before the foundations crumble. Need some help?  Contact me confidentially at todd rhoades at gmail.com and I’ll see if we can’t hook you up with someone that can help you through whatever you’re going through. QUESTION:  Have you ever been so burned out that it scared you? Read more here…
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According to the Charlotte Observer, Elevation Church is planning on an expansion that could cost around $30 million: Elevation, one of the country’s fastest-growing evangelical congregations, plans to build a $20 million facility in Ballantyne to house its administrative staff, along with a 1,500-seat sanctuary. Elevation also is considering two sites in Huntersville for a campus there. In all, the projects will cost more than $30 million. This month, Elevation hopes its new “Banner Years” campaign will raise the up-front money needed so the church can pay cash for the sites – $3.5 million for 20 acres off U.S. 521 in Ballantyne, and another $2.5 million for the Huntersville tract of its choice. “We are not building a church for our own benefit. We are designing a movement for the glory of God,” Pastor Steven Furtick said in announcing the campaign. “Which means we can’t stop or back down … We want to be available and ready to launch new Elevation locations anytime and anywhere God leads.” Elevation, a Southern Baptist congregation that is only 7 years old, already has seven Charlotte-area campuses plus an extension church in Toronto. In 2008-09, the congregation raised $4.6 million to build Elevation Matthews. Its 2010 “Kingdom Come” campaign funneled $5.1 million toward its Blakeney location. Church leaders say they have pre-approval for a loan to pay the estimated $25 million needed to build and equip the Ballantyne and Huntersville projects. Plans call for the work be completed by 2014. As of Saturday night, and a little more than a week into its “Banner Years” campaign, Elevation had already raised $5 million, most of which will go toward buying the land, spokeswoman Tonia Bendickson said. // Read more here…
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